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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photo VANDALIZED: The 150-year-old Thomas Cemetery in North Little Rock has been vandalized and abandoned.

Colonial Dames of America adopts Thomas Cemetery

The Colonial Dames of America, Arkansas Chapter XXXIV, announced at its March meeting that it would adopt Thomas Cemetery in North Little Rock as a project.

The 150-year-old cemetery has been vandalized and abandoned, and recently North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith has named CDA members Betty Harp, of North Little Rock, Lisa Winkleman, of Hot Springs Village, and Teresa Clark, of North Little Rock, to an advisory committee, a news release said.

The three ladies first established the Thomas Cemetery Association as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. TCA is working to preserve and protect the cemetery which is located at 3800 Division St., North Little Rock, the release said.

Of the over 700 headstones, only a handful remain standing on the 2 acres of the cemetery. Broken stones, garbage and overgrown weeds are what stand out now and cleaning up the cemetery is the first priority. The committee is also discussing bringing in a sonar device to be able to identify human remains and buried headstones. They want to put respectable markers on the property, even if the person goes nameless, the release said.

The city is claiming eminent domain on the property. The advisory committee will write grants, fundraise and recruit volunteers to help clean up the property and install a fence. Other organizations interested in historic preservation such as Colonial Dames 17th Century, U.S. Daughters of 1812 and Daughters of American Colonists, have contributed to the project by becoming sustaining members of TCA. Individuals may also become sustaining members. A sustaining membership is $25.

CDA, established in 1890, is the oldest colonial lineage society for women in the United States. Celebrating its 128th anniversary in 2018, the Society was established to commemorate the history of the 13 American colonies and the men and women who founded them. Its mission is to promote the historic preservation of sites and objects, award scholarships, educate the public about American history, inspire patriotism, and promote fellowship among our members.

Email Clark at tca1876@gmail.com for more information.

Society on 03/16/2019

Print Headline: Item of interest

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